Do You Need Asbestos Removed?
Finding asbestos in your home is an unfortunate situation that needs to be addressed immediately. Disturbed asbestos is dangerous. It has been linked to asbestosis and mesothelioma, lung diseases caused by breathing in airborne asbestos fibers. Asbestosis irritates and scars the lung tissues, while the more dangerous mesothelioma causes a type of cancer that is often fatal. Undisturbed, asbestos poses little to no threat, it’s when asbestos becomes airborne due to remodeling projects, demolition, or material deterioration it poses a serious threat.
Asbestos removal isn't as simple as it may seem. Hiring an asbestos abatement company, like Banner Environmental, and not doing it yourself, is the wisest and safest decision when it comes to removing asbestos from any residential, commercial or public building. We properly test for the toxic asbestos minerals, follow strict regulations and processes, and carry the right abatement removal equipment to keep you and others safe from exposure.
Professional Asbestos Abatement Services in Massachusetts and Rhode Island
Asbestos Abatement Services:
Hiring a professional asbestos abatement company like Banner Environmental is the safest, easiest method of removing asbestos from your house. We are equipped with both the experience from working with asbestos and with specialized tools and materials.
On-site asbestos testing entails a careful inspection and testing of the materials in your house by our team of specialists. Air can also be monitored on-site in order to detect whether asbestos particles are present in the atmosphere of your house. If the existence of asbestos is indeed confirmed, a more detailed inspection will follow. Homeowners can collect samples and have them tested, but it’s much safer if you hire a trained asbestos professional for the job.
An Asbestos Survey or Asbestos Screening, involves a sampling and laboratory analysis of the materials, can accurately identify and quantify asbestos fibers in building materials. Asbestos surveys are commonly required as part of due diligence during commercial real estate transactions or financing, prior to demolition or renovation of buildings, or after suspected damage to buildings during flooding and after significant natural disasters.
There are different types of asbestos surveys:
- Asbestos Screening
- Limited Asbestos Survey
- Path of Construction/Pre-Renovation Asbestos Survey
- Pre-Demolition Asbestos Survey
For more information on each, please visit our asbestos survey page.
Handling any asbestos products and materials can be dangerous. If the material is broken or damaged already, asbestos fibers can easily become airborne.
Research indicates there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. To prevent exposure, asbestos should only be handled and removed by professionals with the appropriate certifications.
Our abatement professionals are highly trained to follow federal and Massachusetts and Rhode Island state laws. The EPA also requires abatement specialists, like us, receive thorough training and accreditation.
After asbestos removal, our abatement professionals take the materials to a landfill qualified to receive the waste. Massachusetts and Rhode Island have their own protocols for dropping off asbestos waste.
In many, if not most cases, we wet the asbestos-containing materials and encase them in plastic before transportation to a disposal site. At the designated disposal site, the packaged asbestos is buried.
Commercial Asbestos Abatement Services
We also offer asbestos abatement services for commercial, industrial and municipal buildings. View our commercial asbestos abatement services to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions About Asbestos Abatement:
The term asbestos refers to six types of naturally occurring minerals that fall into two main categories:
- Serpentine asbestos, also called white asbestos. Chrysotile is the only mineral in the serpentine category and accounts for approximately 95% of all asbestos used in commercial applications worldwide.
- Amphibole asbestos, which includes amosite (brown asbestos), crocidolite (blue asbestos), anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite.
These minerals are resilient, durable, heat and corrosion resistant, don’t dissolve in water, and microbes cannot break them down, and these properties make them suitable for various commercial applications. Many of these products are still available and being used today.
While asbestos is heavily regulated in the United States and used sparingly, it may be surprising that there is not a comprehensive asbestos ban in place. Asbestos continues to be used in gaskets, friction products, roofing materials, fireproofing materials and other everyday products. That being said, the production and use of most asbestos, especially in building materials, has ceased in the United States since the 1970s and 1980s.
Even though asbestos hasn’t been used for some time it continues to linger to this day, especially in buildings constructed prior to the 1980’s (although there is no official cutoff date for all asbestos in buildings). Asbestos-containing materials (ACM) still pose a danger to the public because they were common building products in homes, schools and other structures built before the 1980s.
It’s extremely difficult to identify asbestos just by looking at it. The typical size of their fibers is 0.1 to 10 μm in length (smaller than what the naked eye can detect). Asbestos is only visible if it is in groups or clumps; otherwise, the individual fibers are too small to see without a microscope, so samples need to be sent to a lab for testing. And while asbestos has some distinguishable features, an analysis of its appearance often requires the help of a microscope, which can show its color and shape.
Asbestos can be found in three variations: blue, brown, and white.
There are three types of asbestos that may be found in residential or commercial properties [link to asbestos commercial]: crocidolite (blue), amosite (brown), and chrysotile (white).
Crocidolite asbestos: Widely accepted as the most hazardous type of asbestos, it was commonly used to insulate steam engines and in spray-on coatings, pipe insulation, plastics, and cement products. Its fibers are extremely thin and can be identified by their blue color.
Amosite: The second most commonly-used asbestos, it poses a greatest risk of cancer. Brown in color, this form of asbestos was frequently used in cement sheets and pipe insulation, as well as insulation boards, ceiling tiles, and thermal insulation products.
Chrysotile: The most commonly used asbestos is found in roofs, ceilings, walls, and floors. This form of asbestos was also often used in brake linings, gaskets and boiler seals, and insulation for pipes, ducts, and appliances. Chrysotile is white in color with a layered structure and curly fibers.
When we identify asbestos, we look at how easy it crumbles to determine whether it is friable or non-friable. Non-friable asbestos-containing materials, as opposed to a friable type, are actually quite difficult to crumble. Non-friable ACMs are still commonly found in production.
Because non-friable ACMs have a bonding agent that contains asbestos, there is a much lower risk of releasing these toxic minerals and posing danger to you. However, they still remain a threat—especially if they end up getting crushed or broken, such as during a remodeling project.
Friable asbestos crumbles easily and falls apart under slight pressure. Friable ACMs, which crumble more easily than a non-friable type, are now regulated due to their releasing of asbestos and associated risks. However, they can still be found today, as they were regularly added to materials prior to regulation.
Friable asbestos is often found in products like thermal insulation for pipes, insulation for water heaters, joint compounds, ceiling tiles, plasters, and wallboards. Since they can be crumbled, pulverized, or reduced to powder by hand pressure, they pose a great risk to those exposed.
It’s also important to note that non-friable ACMs can become friable if broken down or subjected to certain conditions.
Asbestos is a group of six naturally occurring minerals composed of soft, flexible fibers that are heat-resistant. Asbestos is still used in hundreds of U.S. consumer products. Its use is allowed as long as it accounts for less than 1% of the product. Exposure to asbestos causes cancers and other diseases, including mesothelioma and asbestosis.
Because asbestos fibers are often microscopic, they can be airborne for days without being detected. This means they are easily inhaled into a person’s lungs, causing serious health issues.
Common asbestos-containing building materials (ACBMs) found in older buildings include flooring and other finishes, insulation material, fire proofing, roofing products, wall and ceiling materials, and adhesives.
Below is list of possible places where asbestos may be found in a home or building:
- Roof Shingles & Siding
- Vermiculite Insulation, Ceiling Tiles & Coatings
- Popcorn Ceilings
- Drywall & Cement Sheets
- Plaster, Putties & Caulking
- Electrical Switchboard Panels
- Plumbing Fixtures
- Pipe & Duct Coverings
- Thermal Boiler & Fireplace Insulations
- Vinyl Floor Tiles
Each asbestos abatement project is unique, and being such, costs will vary. What determines the cost of an asbestos abatement project is: the location of the asbestos, the quantity of the asbestos, and the condition of the asbestos containing materials.
It’s difficult to predict the cost of an asbestos abatement project without assessing the scope of work first hand.
Asbestos is usually not covered under homeowners insurance. Almost all home insurance policies have an exclusion for pollution, which includes things like fuel and chemical spills, and asbestos.
Your homeowners insurance policy might help pay for the costs of removing asbestos if you experience damage that exposes asbestos as the result of a covered peril. In this case your policy may pay for the entire cost to repair the damage, including the cost of safely removing and cleaning up the asbestos.
Banner Environmental Services works directly with insurance companies so we can help you determine if your homeowners policy will cover your unique asbestos abatement situation.
Hire The Right Asbestos Abatement Company
If you are planning interior demolition or renovation and suspect the presence of asbestos, it’s time to call in professional help. Slight disturbances in the asbestos material and surrounding areas can create hazards where none existed if not handled properly.
Banner Environmental Services possesses a trained, professional team of technicians whom are licensed, insured, and equipped for safe, thorough asbestos remediation. Serving all of Rhode Island and Massachusetts including Greater Boston, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket.
- Free Estimates - Our trained and licensed technicians assess the damage and provide a free in-person estimate.
- 24-Hour Emergency Service - With our 24-hour emergency response, we will start working as soon as possible.
- Licensed and Insured - Our team is licensed and insured to protect you throughout your project..
- Professional Equipment and Techniques - We use professional-grade equipment and advanced techniques..
- Local Professionals - Our entire team is local to Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and trained and certified to safely restore your home.
- We Work With Your Insurance Company - We accept all insurance companies and can even work with them directly.
- Over 25 Years Experience - We’ve been in business for a while and have a stellar reputation of helping homeowners safely and effectively restore their home.